Computer Crime Research Center


Online global crime

Date: December 09, 2007

For one so young, he seemed a peculiarly precocious convert to retail therapy. Mobile phones, iPods, swish suits and fancy holidays. You name it, he bought it. The detectives asked to investigate his strangely spendthrift ways would, though, soon find themselves facing a conundrum. Their big spender was dead. In fact, he had succumbed to a childhood brain disease when seven months old.

In total, the identities of hundreds of dead babies would be plundered by businessman Anton Gelonkin in one of the largest identity theft networks uncovered in the UK. Hiding behind the stolen identities of deceased infants, Gelonkin's gang would, in the space of a decade, amass a fortune worth millions. The ease and rapidity with which his team stole so many identities perturbed officers investigating a case which provides a rare insight into the modus operandi of those perpetrating Britain's fastest-growing crime: identity theft.
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